QUINCY, Ill. (June 1, 2000)—Titan International Inc. President Maurice "Morry" Taylor Jr. has faced many conflicts while doing business, but doesn´t intend to let the use of his company´s mascot name go that far.
According to a May 17 report from the Chicago Sun-Times, a mascot appearing on the Chicago Bears´ Web site may be a trademark infringement because of the character´s moniker.
That´s because the mascot, a bear of course, was given the name "The Grizz."
But most people close to the tire industry already know of a Grizz, and he heads Quincy-based Titan. In fact, Mr. Taylor in 1996 registered the name "The Grizz" with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The Bears, according to the Sun-Times, applied for a trademark in August 1999 and has been using the name and a bear likeness different from Titan´s in a children´s section of its Web site.
Since 1996, Mr. Taylor has used "The Grizz" label in several ways:
*It´s his nickname, based on his tough business operating and negotiating style;
*It´s the name of Titan´s mascot, a bear with a headband, sunglasses and "attitude," according to Mr. Taylor; and
*It´s the label used for the company´s LSW (low sidewall) line of agricultural and construction tires (i.e., the Grizz LSW skid-steer loader tire).
Plus, "The Grizz" has been the nickname for a New London, Mo., radio station Mr. Taylor owned until 1998.
"(The Bears) don´t have to pay me," Mr. Taylor said of the situation. "Just give me four tickets between the 40s (yard-lines). My employees would love them."